Public Health Assessment Public Comment Release
Ward Transformer NPL Site
downstream of Brier Creek Reservoir, Brier Creek Reservoir, Little Brier Creek downstream of
Brier Creek Parkway, and one unnamed tributary to Little Brier Creek.
would have diluted the contaminants, so that very high levels would be unlikely to be contacted.
Also, the contaminants would be difficult to measure accurately. ATSDR considers EPA's
remedial investigation adequate to fully characterize the nature and extent of potentially
hazardous contamination from the Ward Transformer site.
Health Hazard Category
The levels of PCBs in edible portions of fish from areas downstream of the site are high enough
to increase the risk for cancer and adverse noncancer health effects for recreational levels of
consumption. In addition, exposure of workers to PCBs in soil could contribute to the potential
of developing cancer. Therefore, ATSDR classifies the Ward Transformer site
as a public
health hazard because potential exposures to PCBs could result in adverse health effects if
exposure is not reduced or prevented.
Although the theoretical risk calculations suggest increased risk for adverse health effects for
workers and people eating fish from Brier Creek reservoir, it is important to note that these
calculations were based on worst-case exposure scenarios. The actual exposures are likely to be
much lower, so that the risk of adverse health effects occurring is low.
1. Edible portions of fish from areas downstream of the site have PCBs at levels high
enough to increase the theoretical risk of cancer and adverse noncancer health effects for
people who eat these fish regularly. The State of North Carolina has placed an advisory
against eating carp or catfish from Lake Crabtree or any species of fish from Brier Creek,
Brier Creek Reservoir, Little Brier Creek downstream of Brier Creek Parkway, and the
tributary leading from the Ward Transformer site. The State
of North Carolina also
advises that consumption of fish species other than carp or catfish from Lake Crabtree be
limited to no more than 1 meal per month.
2. Exposure of site workers to PCBs in soil could contribute to an increased theoretical risk
of developing cancer.
3. Exposure to PCBs in sediment and surface water is not a significant contributor to overall
theoretical cancer risk. However, sediments may contribute
to PCB contamination
aquatic food chain. As stated above, consumption of contaminated fish could increase the
risk of cancer and adverse noncancer health effects.
4. The groundwater beneath the site
is not being used
for drinking water and therefore
of public health concern
at this time. However, limited data suggest that the groundwater
might be impacted by site contaminants. Not enough information exists to determine
whether health effects could be possible if the groundwater was used for drinking.